Have you ever wanted to star in an ad? No? Well, you'd better check your Google+ settings then.
You may have heard that Google unveiled plans recently to match up all that valuable data you create when you're logged into its social network - like leaving a rating or review for a product or service - with paid search and display ads, including your name and profile picture.
To its credit, Google is announcing the change in advance. Well, credit might be a little generous - more like they learned what not to do after Facebook instituted its social ads, Sponsored Stories, without sufficiently notifying users, and wound up on the losing end of a $20 million lawsuit. And Google claims it will honor your privacy settings when displaying your "shared endorsements." Oh, and you can opt out.
So, the fuss has been minimal thus far. People are understandably concerned about being turned into endorsements, but considering the importance of user reviews and ratings, it makes reasonable sense that recommendations from people connected to us might actually be even more relevant. Isn't that what ads should be?
And maybe you've noticed - consumers have more influence than ever before on business strategy. Check out last week's edition here to get the scoop.